Don’t go to Amazon.com and order the book “Career Advice From An Ostrich With It’s Head in The Sand”. No one has written the book. The story is that Ostriches put their head in the sand when there is a sign of danger. This is a myth. It wouldn't work for them anyway. It will not work for you either. If you are faced with a downsizing in your company or you feel the changes happening around you in the organization, just hiding with your head down or trying to ignore what is going on will not work.
It is a much better course of action to be proactive.
Here are my three recommended action steps for you to take. Right now!
There is self. There is internal – to your current company. There is external – outside of your current company.
Let’s begin with the fact that most of us do not like change. Seriously, almost everyone finds their regular habits to be comforting. In fact, when my position was in a senior role in corporate, the CEO (we worked together for years) would order in his lunch each day when he was in town, a tuna sandwich on toasted rye bread, light mayo with lettuce and tomato, cut in half, with a half sour pickle on the side. Every single day. Did I mention he was and still is a billionaire? We get comfortable in our habits.
Unfortunately, this behavior is not helpful at all when we are speaking about career advancement or survival when there is a downsizing, a merger or other reorganization which may threaten your position.
Begin with SELF.
Answer these questions -
- What are your best qualities?
- Do you need to become more current in any areas?
- How is your wardrobe, weight, health and appearance?
- Do you have a current resume?
Next is INTERNAL – your current organization.
Speak with your current manager about your concerns. Discuss if there might be other departments within the current company where you might be able to find a role and add value. Request permission or basically inform as necessary that you intend to speak with other departments, managers and human resources within the organization. Become proactive in your internal promotion of yourself. Your best approach if your cost becomes part of the conversation is to prove how they save money by bringing you in, the internal candidate vs. hiring in from the outside.
Third is EXTERNAL – outside your current organization.
This subject should really have its own article. In fact, yes the next article for this column will explore this one topic in depth. For now understand that the job boards online are a waste of your time. The job you want, you will find by speaking with people you know and networking in the proper manner in order to empower others who wish to help you, and most people will want to help you,
Follow these three action steps right now. You just need to learn the ropes and not stick your head in the sand hoping it will all just go away.
Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified executive and personal coach who resides in Stamford, CT.